This is part of the reason we worked with Nutricia and the Dutch associations of dieticians (NVD) and physiotherapists (KNGF) to arrange an insightful and educational online conference this week. Here are the top takeaways from the various speakers at “Rehabilitation and recovery after COVID-19.”
- COVID-19 recovery encompasses a wide variety of physical and mental aspects. Patients complain of fatigue, shortness of breath, muscle loss and weakness, diarrhoea and dysphagia, as well as mental issues such as anxiety and depression. Particular attention – both in the short and the long-term – should be paid to patients who were in intensive care, who are susceptible to “Post-Intensive Care Syndrome (PICS)
- Consequently, an interdisciplinary approach is needed to optimise recovery and reinstate a good quality of life. This includes GPs, physiotherapists, dietitians, psychologists, speech therapists and other HCPs
- During their illness, and especially when immobile, many patients experience a significant loss of muscle mass and strength. Adequate protein intake may help to limit the muscle loss during the disease. And afterwards, experts recommend 25 g of protein per meal, plus exercise, for recovery
- Many patients are malnourished when their rehabilitation begins. This has resulted in a Dutch guideline developed by dieticians: ‘Voeding bij herstel na COVID-19’ (‘Nutrition for recovery after COVID-19’). This focusses on maintaining and improving nutritional status, muscle mass and strength, and supporting functional capacity in daily life.
Many of the issues caused by COVID-19 are health areas that have been extensively researched and lie at the heart of FrieslandCampina Ingredients’s expertise. Protein plays a pivotal role in disease management, and high quality dairy protein has consistently been found to be beneficial in cases of hospitalization, malnutrition, sarcopenia, recovery and rehabilitation. By continuing to develop these highly nutritious ingredients, we can continue to improve quality of life not only for patients, but also frail and elderly consumers when they need that nutrition the most.